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Health Insurance and Cancer Screening Among Women

For Release August 3, 1994

 

Women over 50 years of age who are enrolled in health maintenance organizations (HMO) are more likely to receive cancer screening procedures than women with fee-for-service coverage, according to a report released by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

The report, Health Insurance and Cancer Screening among Women, show that among women 50-64 years of age with 12 years or less education, HMO enrollees reported higher levels of mammography and Pap testing than did those with fee-for-service coverage.

Higher rates of cancer screening were also shown for women aged 65 years and older in HMO's, regardless of educational level.

In 1992 three out of five women aged 50-64 years, who were enrolled in HMO's reported having a recent mammogram and a recent Pap test, regardless of their educational level.

In contrast, among women aged 50-64 years with 12 or fewer years of education and fee-for-service coverage, only one out of two women reported recent mammography and Pap testing.

In 1992 only half of all women aged 50-64 years reported a mammogram within the past year, while 53 percent reported a Pap test, and 61 percent reported a clinical breast examination. The percent of women reporting these procedures was lowest for uninsured women and highest for women enrolled in HMO's. Only 19 percent of uninsured women aged 50-64 years reported recent mammography, 32 percent reported Pap testing, and 38 percent reported clinical breast examination.

The report also shows that screening levels for Pap testing, mammography, and clinical breast examination were 11 to 18 percentage points lower for women 65 years and over than for women aged 50-64 years, despite the higher risk of disease among older women.

Women age 65 years and over with only Medicare coverage were also substantially less likely to report any of the three screening techniques than women with Medicare and private insurance.

Women age 65 years and over who were enrolled in HMO's were more likely to report recent mammography and Pap testing than women with fee-for-service insurance. Use of both procedures was 13 percentage points greater for HMO enrollees than women with fee-for-service coverage.

"Health Insurance and Cancer Screening Among Women," can be downloaded from the National Center for Health Statistics' (NCHS) Home Page. NCHS is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS.

No. 254. Health Insurance and Cancer Screening Among Women. 12 pp. (PHS) 94-1250 [PDF - 96 KB]

For more information, please contact NCHS, Office of Public Affairs (301) 458-4800, or via e-mail at paoquery@cdc.gov.

 

 

 

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